About UsOur early learning program for a successful transition into the school system.
The Solid Foundations Early Learning Program
About the Program
The Solid Foundations Early Learning Program has been developed specifically for children in Day Care settings to ensure that they have the opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and self-confidence that is required to make a successful transition into mainstream schooling. The Program is a rigorous and fast paced skill based program that is balanced with
carefully chosen experiences to develop knowledge, thinking skills, creativity and an
enjoyment of learning.
Program Content and Daily Routine
The Solid Foundations Early Learning Program is a daily program that runs from September until the end of June from 8.45am until 3.15pm each day. It is balanced with plenty of time for child-led play and creativity in the sessions before and after the program times.
Skill based activities are always carried out in the mornings when the children are more alert in order to maximize their learning potential. These skills include the important skills of Pencil Control and Letter Formation, Sound Knowledge and Letter-Sound relationships, Early Reading, and Number. In addition, the morning activities also include Calendar time and Theme sessions based on seasonal activities, local and world celebrations.
The afternoon lessons provide children with the opportunity to extend their knowledge and experiences with introductory French, foundational Music Skills, Yoga, Social and Life Skills, Physical Skills, Thinking Skills, Math Concepts, and World Knowledge. The World Knowledge sessions enable the concepts taught in the morning Theme session to be extended further into geography, history, science and nature, design and technology. In addition, the Program also ensures that topics that spontaneously interest the children and which occur unexpectedly are also catered for in the weekly Emergent Curriculum session.
In order for children to learn effectively they need to be able to attend and listen well and this is achieved through a high expectation of good behaviour and respect for both teachers and peers. Children’s brains and bodies need to be calm but alert so that they are ready and able to learn. For this reason lessons have been specifically timed to be between 20-45 minutes long so that children can maintain focus. The lessons are carefully balanced with activities such as the morning Tai Chi session, the early afternoon Mediation/Listening Time, quiet book time, story time, and outdoor play so that the children can maintain calm and
focused minds and bodies.
Children also learn in different ways so lessons are multi-sensory with information being presented in as many different ways as possible – visual, auditory and kinesthetics (movement) to suit different learning styles and ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. Multi-sensory lessons also maximize the attention span of young children and appeal to their
young minds and their need for movement in learning.
The Program is also based on three important educational principles to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn successfully and achieve their maximum potential. Firstly, information is learned more effectively when it is ‘layered.’ This is achieved by exposing the children to a wide knowledge base across many areas rather than a few areas in depth, in order to provide a framework of information for further knowledge to be attached to at a later date. Secondly, children are always taught information using a ‘pre-view, teach and review method.’ Information is first ‘pre-viewed’ by gathering together what the children
already know to form a framework for more information to be attached to. Additional information is then ‘taught’ to extend the children’s knowledge and this is then followed with a ‘review’ session to provide the children with the chance to recollect and verbalize what they have learned. Thirdly, children are always shown how each separate piece of information that they are taught is part of a bigger picture of information. This teaches them to both see and look for pattern and relationships between information which is an invaluable skill for success in later learning. Scaffolding children’s learning in this this way ensures that children have the maximum opportunity to learn successfully.
Parent Information and Participation
Children work hard throughout the year and it is important that their efforts are appreciated and for this reason their work is kept in an individual file at the Day Care. This file will be presented to parents at the end of the year but parents are actively encouraged to view this file with their child and celebrate their achievements at any time during the year. In order to provide parents with the opportunity to be both aware of and involved in their child’s learning parents also receive a daily report on what activities have been taught each day so that they may extend these activities in their time together. At the beginning of the year parents also receive a Parent Pack of materials and game instructions. This provides parents with the opportunity to help their children by reinforcing skills that are taught during the year in fun and enjoyable ways at home.